Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. ~1 Corinthians 15:34
Do you ever find yourself lacking a commodity that you would like to have, but you can’t afford it? If you do, you might feel like you are what is called a “have-not”. The Apostle Paul referred to a group of people as “have-nots.” There is an important essential they need to have, but they don’t. This morning, we should be concerned about reaching these people who “have not.”
We see a people who are in darkness.
“For some have not the knowledge of God.” The “have-nots” refer to every sinner. Everyone is born a sinner. Our sin nature has placed us in spiritual darkness. “For ye were sometimes darkness,” (Ephesians 5:8a). Because we are in darkness, we tend to desire darkness over light. “Men loved darkness rather than light,” (John 3:19b). Darkness is blinding. A blind person lives in complete darkness. Satan has blinded the minds of every sinner so that spiritually they are ignorant of the things of God. Satan’s goal is to keep the sinner in darkness so that he cannot see the light of the gospel. “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them,” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
We see a people who are doomed.
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” A “have-not” is a sinner whose sin has been judged. He is under the sentence of condemnation. This means a sinner is found guilty of breaking God’s laws and will be punished for all of eternity in a terrible place called Hell. Two of the descriptions of the doom of Hell are that it is a place of outer darkness, Matt. 8:12, and the blackness of darkness forever, Jude 1:13. This doom is eternal separation from God. Every “have-not” is condemned and doomed.
We see a people who are dissuaded.
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” Paul is referring to the unbecoming testimony of the believers at Corinth. The infighting among the believers, the tolerance of public sins that needed to be confessed and repented of, the misuse of spiritual gifts, and loose living were a hindrance to the “have-nots” from coming to the glorious gospel of Christ. When our testimony is defiled and sinful, the “have-nots” do not have any compelling reason to come to Jesus for salvation. Their rationale is, “If there is no change in the life of a saved individual, what reason do I have for getting saved?” Is your testimony a help, or a hindrance to the unsaved? Do the unsaved see the power of Christ working in you? Are you living a changed life?
We see a people who are deserving.
The basis on which Paul is writing to the church at Corinth is to get them to reach the “have-nots” with the gospel. God will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Timothy 2:4. The “have-nots” are deserving of Christlike believers who testify with their lives and lips that Jesus loves them and wants to save them. “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:15).
Let’s remember that the “have-nots” can be “haves”! Don’t let someone spend eternity in Hell because of a bad testimony. Don’t let your gospel be hid, but let it shine!
Have a soul-conscious God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Galatians 4-6